At the end of the match, when he came up to me in the stands, he told me that we needed to get the doctor to come and see to him because he was really, really exhausted.”
Toni Nadal and Marian Vajda spoke to the press after the epic 2014 French Open men’s final.
Toni Nadal (Rafael Nadal’s coach):
"We’re delighted and very emotional about this victory. This is the first time that we came to Roland Garros having lost so many matches on clay this year. We lost at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome and even though we won in Madrid, I can’t forget that Nishikori had to retire in the final. So we were short on confidence. Djokovic played very well here in the first set. Rafael wasn’t playing badly but he made a few errors and when you’re playing Novak, there’s no room for manoeuvre.
The match turned on its head at the end of the second set because Djokovic’s level dropped a little. We all felt it, and Rafa stepped up then. This match wasn’t at the same level of the 2012 final or last year’s semi-final, but it was a very, very intense final. At the end of the fourth set, Rafa was cramping up everywhere and he almost couldn’t go on. We really had to fire him up because we knew that if he didn’t win the fourth, he’d lose the fifth because Novak was stronger than him physically. At the end of the match, when he came up to me in the stands, he told me that we needed to get the doctor to come and see to him because he was really, really exhausted.”
Marian Vajda (Novak Djokovic’s coach):
"It was a strange match. It was disappointing but you have to admit that Rafa was simply better than he was today. Novak started off the match very well and had a really good first set but he didn’t manage to maintain his level of play because Rafa just got better and better. In the second set, Rafa was playing quicker, his top-spin was more and more difficult to play and the rallies were incredibly tough because the two players were stuck in the corners. I don’t know if the spectators realised or not but it was really, really intense. Novak started to have a few doubts, he was also having a few stomach problems and when you’re playing Rafa, any time your game slips a little, there’s no way back. In the fourth set, Novak got back to 4-4 but Rafa didn’t give an inch, he gave it his all and he ended up winning the match. It’s tough to lose a Grand Slam final but that’s the way sport is.”
MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal doesn’t expect to miss any tournaments as a result of the back injury that contributed to his loss in the Australian Open final.
A statement from the world’s top-ranked player says he will have another medical exam on Monday after doctors in Barcelona examined his back following his return from Australia.
Nadal lost Sunday’s final in Melbourne 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka after he injured his back.
Nadal says he still plans to play his next tournaments in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Indian Wells and Miami.
Doctors have prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy to speed his recovery.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20140129/rafael-nadal-back-injury.ap/#ixzz2rof0UAiQ
Next tournament: Copa Claro - Buenos Aires, Argentina February 10 - 16, 2014 (surface clay)
655 Followers! Thanks guys!!!
I wonder if Rafa ever checks out the tag. He would love the outpouring of support he received today for sure. I think we’ve all learned a lot of lessons on our journey with Rafa. He’s a kind and humble champion and sometimes we need to take a breather and think What Would Rafa Do? What would Rafa say? How would he react to this situation? He’ll always do the right thing and I think we do too. I’m so proud of Rafa but I’m also proud to be a fan and part of this community. I love us! Group Hug ❤️
And I thought the blister was bad……..
Back problems are scary. I hope it’s not something very serious.
Maymo needs to work his magic!!
First I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited for the match. I set my alarm for 2:30am. Now I’m not even tired after going through such an emotional match.
Thank God it’s Sunday because I’m going to be an absolute zombie after all this.
These pictures of Rafa are killing me!
My heart hurts but Stan really deserved the win. It wasn’t an easy road for him to get to the final.
Rafa doesn’t want us to make excuses. We need to be more like him in defeat. He’s a great champion win or lose. All the respect to Stan. Congratulations on your first Slam.
Awww Rafa’s crying again :(
My heart is breaking for him
Rafa fought hard through injury. He put up a great fight but Stan prevailed.
Congrats to Stan, you deserved the win.
I don’t think he could have beat a healthy Rafa though.
Sorry had to say it.
Rafa will never give up! Ever! The finish line is in sight!!!
Rafa’s a freaking warrior. He’s not kidding when he says he enjoys the suffering.
The crowd needs to give Rafa a lot more support! Come on people!! Our man needs you!!
I think he’s feeling better!!!!!!!!!!!